'We haven't seen something like this since the '70s': Bike shops report 'phenomenal' leap in sales
'The first nice weekend of April, it just exploded, absolutely exploded'
Bike shops are struggling to keep up with the demand as Calgarians seem to have rediscovered cycling as a safe way to get outside and active during the pandemic.
"We call it COVID chaos. Bike sales, who knew in a pandemic that we would have significant increases," said Brent Fasick, owner of B & P Cycle and Sports.
Fasick says his store in southeast Calgary was hit hard by the pandemic — at first.
"At the beginning of March, it was pretty scary. Basically zero business. I had to lay off all the staff, for the most part," he said.
"And then, the first nice weekend of April, it just exploded, absolutely exploded. It was crazy.
And with the surge in cycling this spring a seemingly continent-wide phenomenon, Fasick is competing for depleted stock with shops all over North America.
"Typically at this time of year, if we run out of bikes, we just order more. Or we typically have more coming," he said.
"But now we've cleaned out the warehouses."
That means some customers won't get their new bikes until August.
Repair shops are busy, too. Brian Feick, who owns a Velofix franchise, says he's had a massive uptick in appointments this year compared with last year.
"And the appointments just keep rolling in, so I don't think there's going to be any change in momentum," he said.
"And I was talking to some of the shop owners in Calgary and they cannot keep bikes on the floor. They're selling out quickly."
Feick says it's nice to see that people are getting back on bikes.
"The uptick in bikes has been phenomenal. We haven't seen something like this since the '70s," he said.
With files from Monty Kruger